Fr. Ben’s homily for Monday of the 30th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: THE SPIRIT OF SONSHIP!
By: Ben Agbo (Rev Fr)
Homily for Monday October 25 2021
*Rom 8 : 12 – 17, Lk 13 : 10 – 17.
When a human parent adopts a child, he does not give the child its life biologically but changes his name, influences his character and gives him the right to become his heir. At the end of the day the child is said to be ‘born again’ with new parents and a new destiny. That is also what happens to us in Christ Jesus. We were formerly led by the spirit of idolatry, poverty and infirmities following our ancestors. When we repent, we need to renounce the old covenants and take up a new one in Christ Jesus. That is what some charismatics have called ‘healing of family roots’. It does not have to take the form of a new sacrament of initiation but there needs to be a spiritual appropriation of what we already have received at baptism, 2 Tim 1: 6 – 9.
The Bible says that ‘baptism saves us not by the washing away of bodily dirts but by a pledge of a good conscience’, 1 Pet 3 : 21. Our approach to the sacraments of initiation : Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist makes the whole lot of difference. It must be spiritual because only those who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God. And only those who are sons of God are heirs of his promises, Gal 4 : 7.
According to Fr Mattew Eze O, ‘The uniqueness of our identity as Christians is to be founded principally by the kind of ‘spirit’ that we possess’. The woman presented to us in today’s gospel had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years – an ailment which bent her backbone and made her unable to stand straight and work for a living happily. Many of us have such terrible obstacles that make us unable to claim our inheritance as children of God. In such a case we need deliverance and healing at both the spiritual and physical level. Many of us are suffering under ancestral spirits that manifest as spirit of infirmity, spirit of poverty, spirit of idolatry, etc.
In one of my former Parishes, somewhere in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, I discovered during a 9 days Life in the Spirit seminar in preparation for Pentecost that all the women in my Parish were not free to move about beyond 7pm in the night without shouting ‘ewu ani’ – an acclamation which made them remain under the yoke of slavery of the deity of the land (Omabe cult). We had to fight a war before they could gain their freedom as I enthroned the message of today’s 1st reading that ‘All those who are led by the spirit of God are sons of God’. The Spirit of sonship does 3 things for us; (i) enables us destroy the bad habits originating in our flesh, (ii) enables us pray in the spirit by calling God ‘Abba Father’, (iii) making us heirs of God’s promises. There is the urgent need to inculturate the sacraments of initiation more in our parishes in such a way that after baptism and confirmation, we may actually live a new life as Africans who are now sons of God (not getting back to the shrines we claim to have abandoned when we have one pressure or the other). May God bless you today!